July 2, 2016

July 2

July 2, 2016:  Saturday, 13th week, Ordinary Time

  • Tie with grapes and other fruits (shhh; I took it off and shifted the accessories after the selfie):  The juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains.  They shall plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits. (1st reading); people put new wine into fresh, not old, skins.  (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "The Lord speaks of peace to his people." (psalm)
  • 'Justice scales' pin:  Justice shall walk before him. (psalm)
  • The above two placed together:  "Justice and peace shall kiss" (psalm)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
In some countries much remains to be done to promote women's rights.  Ill treatment, domestic violence, and forms of enslavement need to be eliminated.  The violence women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of marriage.  Many women lack equal access to dignified work and equal roles in decision-making, and some cultures still practice genital mutilation.  Women were considered inferior in historical patriarchal cultures, and now women are used as surrogate mothers, and the female body is exploited and commercialized.  Some believe many problems have arisen because of feminine emancipation, but they're wrong.  We rejoice to see old forms of discrimination disappear and to see reciprocity growing within families.  Even if forms of feminism we must consider inadequate have arisen, we see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit for a clearer recognition of women's dignity and rights.
Men also play a decisive role in family life, particularly in protecting and supporting their families.  Many are conscious of their role and live accordingly.  A father's absence, whether physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual, gravely affects family life, depriving children of a suitable father figure.
An ideology of gender that denies the difference between and reciprocity of man and woman, trying to eradicate sexual differences, also poses a challenge.   It leads to education and law that promote personal identity and emotional intimacy separated from the biological difference between the sexes, making identity an individual choice, one that can change.  Some such ideologies, perhaps seeking to respond to understandable aspirations, assert themselves as unquestionable and dictate how children should be raised.  The biological and socio-cultural roles of sex/gender can be distinguished but not separated.  The technological revolution in the field of human procreation has brought the ability to make the reproductive act independent of the sexual relationship between the man and the woman, making human life and parenthood modular and separable realities subject mainly to indiviudals' or couples' wishes.  It's one thing to understand human weakness and life's complexities, and another to accept ideologies that try to split the inseparable.  We're created beings; let's not try to replace the Creator but rather receive creation as a gift and protect our humanity, first by accepting and respecting it as it was created. (II:54-56)
  • Am 9:11-15  I will rebuild David's fallen hut.  All the nations shall bear my name.  The plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the vintager, the sower.  The juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains.  I'll restore my people; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits.  
  • Ps 85:9ab, 10-14  "The Lord speaks of peace to his people."  His salvation is near to all who fear him.  Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.  Truth shall spring from the earth and justice from heaven.  The Lord will give his benefits...
  • Mt 9:14-17  John's disciples / Jesus:  “Why do we fast but not your disciples?” / “Wedding guests don't mourn when the groom is there, but when he's taken away, they'll fast.  If you patch an old cloak with new cloth, the tear worsens.  If you put new wine into old skins, the wine spills and the skins are ruined.  New wine, fresh skins!” 
    • Creighton:  "The old way and the new":  Jesus is the bridegroom and his guests his Kingdom.  This “wedding” is a time to celebrate.  He can't be judged by old standards. The new law he brings will tear apart those who won't accept it and burst the prideful ones so attached to the old law that they think it's enough.  Jesus announces a radical shift in how to relate to God and each other.  Loyalty to God was expressed through observing the letter of the law and external practices like fasting, but Jesus' way follows the interior law of love.  Some today insist that others be ‘orthodox’ like themselves, judging others as having gone astray for not sticking to details of Church discipline though transcended by the new law of love.  Others love only themselves, ignoring the Lord’s option for the poor, works of mercy, and those in need.  Pharasaism is alive and well.  “A new command I give you:  love one another as I have loved you....”
      New wine, fresh skins!
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The kiss of peace":  Often kindness and peace are overshadowed by the need to right a wrong, and truth and justice compromised by the desire to avoid offending anyone.  But Jesus is Truth, Justice, and our Peace, embodying God's kindness.  Nations try to balance law and order, charity, and social programs, but without Jesus they'll fall short....
    • Passionist:  The message of Amos is identified with the justice of a moral life.  When that justice is achieved, then all God's people share nature’s bounty and God's blessings.  Today's gospel mirrors this theme by highlighting the necessity of a “right order,” a “moral order” in our daily life.  Jesus gives examples from common experience.  Fasting tries to make up for one’s wrongdoing or to build strength against sinful inclinations.  Jesus says that when they turn from the Lord, fasting will be appropriate, even necessary.  There's a right order for nature, and for the human family: both come from the same creator.  May our society's moral life and political efforts reflect the Maker and value each human person.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "The day will come when they will fast":  John's disciples were upset with Jesus', who didn't fast.  Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving were the three most important religious duties.  Jesus explained there's a time for fasting and one for celebrating.  To walk with Jesus is to experience a joy of relationship like that of a wedding feast, but we must also bear the cross of affliction and purification, humbly seeking the Lord, fasting, and mourning over sin. / New wine poured into skins was still fermenting.  New skins could take the pressure, but old ones would burst.  There's a place for both old and new; the Lord gives us wisdom so we can make use of both.  He doesn't want us to cling to the past and resist the Spirit's new work; he wants us to be like new skins, open and ready.

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